The day this incident occured I had just passed through the area. My fellow worker and friend was right behind me as we returned to the shop. We could see the black pillar like mushroom shaped cloud in our rear view mirrors. It looked like a nuclear bomb went off.
I did the field scetches of the incident. I went to the site a day or so after the incident and saw the ground opened. Bypasses were hooked up.
I was told that for some time gas odor was smelled by the neighborhood but we could not locate the exact location of the leak. One of our CSD employees was in the basement of a church on the corner to investigate the leak. There was a plumber in the basement as well. His striker ignited the gas and cused the explosion killing both.
When I arrived to the site the whole block was wide open. I was told that a water leak had undermined the street to the point that the gas pipe had no support under it and caused the pipe to leak. the capity filled with gas. the only thing, it seemed, that was holding the street up were the cobblestoned, the paving, and the covered trolley tracks.When the plumber struck his torch he blew the whole block. I recorded the asbuilt new piping and the tie-ins.